U.S. Approves $1 Billion Taiwan Patriot Missiles Deal

U.S. Approves $1 Billion Taiwan Patriot Missiles Deal

Taiwan's missile defense systems are boosting as tensions with China escalate.

Pentagon officials said the funds would be used to maintain, upgrade, and sustain the self-ruled island's Patriot missile defense system.

Taiwan's de facto embassy in Washington requested the sale last month. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the notification to Congress after getting approval from the State Department.

DSCA says Patriot Air Defense System upgrades "will assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region".

The agency said that by supporting a recipient's ongoing effort to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability, this sale would serve U.S. national, economic, and security interests.

Since Tsai Ing-wen became president in 2016, China has intensified pressure on Taiwan. Beijing has made repeated air raids into Taiwan's airspace and has not ruled out a force to take back Taiwan.

Taiwan's foreign ministry applauded the U.S. decision.

Despite China's continued military expansion and provocations, Taiwan will maintain national security with a solid defense and deepen the close security partnership with the U.S., it said in a statement.

Taipei's defense ministry said the decision to get new Patriot missiles was made during a meeting with U.S. officials under Donald Trump's administration.

Within one month, the deal will take effect, the ministry said.
Taiwan and the U.S. don't have formal relations, but Washington is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself.

Taiwan's military is being modernized to become more efficient at 'asymmetric warfare,' which is designed to make China's attacks more difficult and costly.